Asian Shares Mixed Ahead Of US Payrolls Data

Asian stocks ended mixed on Friday after U.S. President Donald Trump touted prospects for an “epic” trade deal with China, but failed to announce a date and place for a Trump/Xi summit.

Chinese state media Xinhua reported quoting Vice Premier Liu He that a new consensus has been reached between the two sides on the text of a trade agreement.

Investors also looked ahead to the all-important U.S. jobs report due later in the day, with economists looking for stabilization in payrolls, following the weakest reading since 2017.

Employment is expected to jump by 180,000 jobs in March after inching up by just 20,000 jobs in February. The unemployment rate is expected to hold at 3.8 percent.

The markets in Taiwan, China and Hong Kong were closed for the Tomb Sweeping Day holiday.

Japanese markets hit a one-month high, with shares of companies relying on Chinese demand leading the surge on hopes for a U.S.-China trade deal.

Investors shrugged off data showing that Japan’s household spending rose less than expected in February and real wages fell unexpectedly.

The average of household spending in Japan rose an annual 1.7 percent in the month, missing expectations for a gain of 1.9 percent.

The Nikkei average rose 82.55 points or 0.38 percent to 21,807.50, marking the highest close since March 4. The broader Topix index closed 0.35 percent higher at 1,625.75.

Fanuc and Hitachi Construction Machinery gained over 1 percent each after Chinese President Xi Jinping said that “new substantial progress” has been made on the text of the China-U.S. economic agreement.

Japan Post Insurance soared almost 10 percent. Its parent Japan Post Holdings announced on Thursday it would sell up to 30 percent of the outstanding shares in its subsidiary by the end of this month.

In economic news, a government report

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